How to Choose the Right Deck Type for Your Backyard

Outdoor terraces create the perfect summer grill spot and add visual appeal to any yard. But you can make decks from just about anything, so the question arises: which material is better?

The material of your deck is almost more important than the construction itself. From wood to composite, there are many options, including color, texture, installation, and price. Here are the most common deck materials to choose from.

Wooden decks

The wood is durable, natural and pleasant to the touch. But it requires more maintenance than any other deck material. Annual cleaning is mandatory and wood flooring needs to be repaired and re-sealed every two to three years. However, this will not prevent the wooden deck from breaking from decay, warping and splitting, which is quite common in older decks. If your deck does show signs of wear and tear, you can apply a colored protectant that will extend the life of your deck for a few more years.

There are three main types of wood you can use:

Pressure treated wood flooring is the least expensive, but should be installed with care as the chemicals they are treated with are toxic and corrosive. They can be dyed and dyed in an unlimited number of colors. These decks can last 15-20 years.

Mahogany and cedar are the most popular natural wood finishes as they are generally beautiful and resistant to insects and decay. They are soft woods that can be easily damaged, but with proper care they can last 20 years.

IPE hardwood flooring is a dense dark wood from South America that is highly resistant to wear, decay, splitting, bugs, and even fire. This is the most expensive version of a wooden deck, but it will last 25 years or more.

If you don’t mind maintaining wood flooring, you will save money on the front. But remember that you will need to spend a little time every couple of years washing, dyeing, and cleaning the deck to keep it in good condition, too.

For DIYers, wood flooring is the best option as there are many plans and books to guide you through the process. Wood decking can also be built using standard tools and equipment, unlike some composite or PVC decking, which may require special clamps or fasteners.

For all wood options, buy wood that is FSC certified, which indicates that sustainable methods were used to harvest the wood.

Composite decks

Composite flooring is made from a mixture of plastic and wood waste, which makes it resistant to decay and wear. These decks most closely resemble wood. You buy the color you want and you don’t need to paint or wet them. In general, composites are more expensive than wood, but the only thing they need is periodic gentle cleaning with a deck cleaner and pressure washing to prevent mold growth.

These decks are installed with clamps, decking screws or concealed fixings for a seamless look.

Trex and TimberTech are the industry leaders in composite materials and you should strive to find the color and style you love.

PVC flooring

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) flooring is 100% recyclable and will not rot, stain or fade. Plastic flooring is less expensive than composite flooring and has closed the gap in appearance and feel compared to composite flooring. From a distance, a PVC deck may look like wood, but when you stand on it, it is impossible to tell that it is plastic.

Fiberon Paramount PVC flooring is available in a variety of colors and imitates natural wood. AZEK is another major PVC decking manufacturer that offers a limited lifetime warranty on their decking.


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